Doocot on Fife estate earns sculptor first merit award in Scotland since 2007

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A Kirkcaldy-based sculptor and his team have received the first certificate of merit to be awarded in Scotland since 2007.

It came from the Dry Stone Walling Association (DSWA) and went to James Parker and the team at Drystone Walling Perthshire The certificate recognises exceptional projects incorporating dry stone walling in Great Britain.

James was honoured for a doocot commissioned by Sir Fraser and Lady Morrison of Teasses Estate, Leven, in celebration of a milestone anniversary. It was submitted for consideration under the DSWA’s ‘pinnacle award scheme’ designed to embrace a wide range of projects highlighting the very best of craftsmanship, innovative use of design and inspirational use of stone. His was only the seventh award to be made in Scotland under the scheme.

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The doocot, which stands at over four metres in height, required around 40 tonnes of stone. Working alongside James on the project were Martin Tyler, Stevie Gordon and Findlay Reade of Drystone Walling Perthshire; a team of professional wallers who work on a wide range of dry stone projects across Scotland.

From left to right: Martin Tyler, Richard Love (DSWA), Stevie Gordon and James ParkerFrom left to right: Martin Tyler, Richard Love (DSWA), Stevie Gordon and James Parker
From left to right: Martin Tyler, Richard Love (DSWA), Stevie Gordon and James Parker

The DSWA was delighted to recognise the work involved in constructing the Doocot, which sits nicely in its surroundings and is so well proportioned that it appears much larger than it actually is when viewed from a distance. The semi-circular arched doorway voussoirs form a pleasing, well balanced fan shape and the build incorporates the family coat of arms.

James said: “A project like this is a once in a lifetime experience; an opportunity to demonstrate skills and techniques in dry stone walling and to create a structure that will exist for many, many years.

“To be recognised by the DSWA for the Doocot is a real honour. My grateful thanks go to Martin, Stevie and Findlay of Drystone Walling Perthshire who built the Doocot alongside me and to Sir Fraser and Lady Morrison for commissioning the project. I hope it brings them and visitors to Teasses a great deal of pleasure.”

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Doocot owners Sir Fraser and Lady Morrison said ther were delighted with the work.

“To celebrate our golden wedding anniversary, we wanted to add to the rich heritage of the estate and gardens at Teasses by creating a focal point opposite Teasses House. Working with our chosen sculptor, James Parker, we decided to build a doocot in dry stone.

“James and Martin Tyler, together with his outstanding team of dry stone wallers, created a “masterpiece” which we are delighted the Dry Stone Walling Association has recognised with an Award.

“The Teasses Doocot will grace the gardens for generations to come. On a daily basis we enjoy the doves flying round the gardens and admire the design and craftsmanship of an exceptionally talented team.”

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There was also praise from Sean Adcock, the DSWA’s award co-ordinator, who said: “The scheme seeks to inspire people to commission work like the Doocot and it is encouraging to see young wallers and designers working on exciting projects such as these that can be enjoyed by the public for many years to come.”